This is the time of year that gets tough for those of us with new workout routines, those who are trying to adopt a new healthy lifestyle.
It is not hard to find statistics that will tell you how long it should take you to change behavior and give you the best chance to succeed in this lifestyle change. The reality is that it is difficult, and there is no simple 12-week solution. There are many ways to get fit, and there is definitely no shortage of nutrition information out there. The problem may be that there is so much information you don’t know where to start. And when you hit that first or second plateau, how can you push through and persevere?
We are more and more expectant on immediate results, gratification, response, etc. But the journey to a healthy lifestyle is, by its very name, a long one. You don’t have to lose 35 pounds next week, you don’t have to do an Ironman this year. Your perspective is important. Is this a lifelong health choice? If so, remind yourself that small behavior changes during a long period of time will add up to great results, it may just take some time.
And maybe the best thing is, you don’t have to do it on your own. I think the most underestimated piece to the puzzle of this new healthy lifestyle change is the genuine support and encouragement of people who care about you. My success in my health journey has always been on the shoulders of friends, family, and co-workers who encourage, support and inspire me. It is always a much more difficult journey on our own.
So when you hit that wall, when you start drifting away from the course you set on Jan. 1, change your perspective. Find a supportive group of people to join, talk about your goals, connect with others along the way and enjoy the ride. There is no better support system than others who really care and who are going to be right by your side during the journey. You’ll soon find you are capable of more than you thought, and you’ll soon be that person supporting and encouraging someone else new to this journey. Lastly, and most importantly, have fun. The journey is what it’s all about.
Information provided by Jeremy Dyvig, executive director at the YMCA Healthy Living Center, 12493 University Ave., Clive, (515) 226-9622.